Bruce Toews (masterofmusings) wrote,
Bruce Toews

The Frustrations of Being High-Profile

Let's face it, I'm a bit of a higher-profile person than a lot of people are. This doesn't mean that I consider myself in any way better than other people, I most certainly am not, but my name is out there a bit more than many.

By and large, I enjoy it. Having your name out there gives you the chance to meet so many people and to make some incredible friendships. I wouldn't trade these friendships for anything, I'm so grateful for them, and it's humbling that people want to be my friends.

But there is a downside to all of this, too. I first noticed it some years ago, when I wrote an opinion piece in this very blog. It rubbed some people the wrong way, and I was taken to task about it. I had a responsibility, I was told, to be objective in my "technology blog". Problem was, this isn't a technology blog, far from it. This is my personal blog, where I felt I could just sit back and express my opinions, just as so many other LiveJournal users do. I've read some pretty amazing things in the name of freedom of expression here, and they go right under the radar. But I find that if I express my opinions and they go against the grain, I hear about it, and hear about it big-time. And I'm only slightly higher-profile than most, I'm not anywhere near bing one of those big names. What must it be like for them?

I started this blog as an outlet for safely expressing my opinions. that's what I wanted to do, and initially, that's what I did. I joined Twitter for the same reason, among others. But now, since I have a name that is ... reasonably well-known (I hate writing that way, because it sounds like I think I'm some sort of celebrity), I have to censor my thoughts and opinions so as not to offend. I'm not sure how to get around this. I suppose I could start a blog and not let anyone read it, but a Word document would serve that purpose just as well. I could just say to heck with what people think, but the feelings of those around me do matter and I'm not out to hurt anyone. How do I go about thinking aloud, which is what I basically want to do, without giving the impression that I'm an unbending person impervious to the thoughts and feelings of others? How does one achieve that balance between self-expression and sensitivity to others?

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